Miami Heat guard Josh Richardson has a partial tear to his right knee (MCL). The injury will force him to miss all of training camp, and now may cost the second-year shooting guard the start of the season. The injury occurred during a private workout.
Richardson is an NBA underdog after being selected in the second round (40th pick) in the 2015 draft. He fought off that label by the end of season to become the first guard off the bench in the playoffs. Richardson averaged 6.6 points to go with 2.1 rebounds in 52 games, but after All-Star break, he dominated while hitting 53 percent from the three point arc and reached double figures 14 times in a 23 game run. The Heat were looking forward to him progressing after a solid rookie season. When you toss in Dwayne Wade’s departure it only compounds the issue. This was where Richardson was to be valued after he earned consistent minutes last season.
It has been six weeks since he injured his knee and has been doing a “decent amount non-contact drills” according to head coach Erik Spoelestra. Miami is scheduled to tip-off the season at Orlando on the 26th of October, but Spoelestra is planned to go without the guard.
“I think that will be a very optimistic, aggressive schedule,” Spoelestra said. When answering a question about Richardson’s availability for the opener. The coach also went on to mention that they want to make sure he has had ample time to rest and repair and that “he really trusts his leg. He has never been injured before, so that’s also new to him.”
Before his injury, he was in competition with Wayne Ellington, Tyler Johnson, and Dion Waiters for the starting gig. That should remain open to him when he returns.